Mora (linguistics)

A mora (plural morae or moras; often symbolized μ) is a basic timing unit in the phonology of some spoken languages, equal to or shorter than a syllable. For example, a short syllable such as ba consists of one mora (monomoraic), while a long syllable such as baa consists of two (bimoraic); extra-long syllables with three moras (trimoraic) are relatively rare. Such metrics are also referred to as syllable weight.

The term comes from the Latin word for "linger, delay", which was also used to translate the Greek word χρόνος : chrónos (time) in its metrical sense.


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